Life Cycle of Ticks

Ticks have three life stages:

1. Larva: After an egg is laid, the tick hatches from the egg in larval form with just six legs. After feeding on blood for the first time, the tick molts into a nymph, the next stage of the life cycle. In this stage, ticks are also called “seed ticks”.

2. Nymph: In the nymph stage, the tick grows another set of legs and has eight legs for the rest of its life. After feeding again, the tick molts into the final stage of the life cycle, the adult stage.

3. Adult: If the tick is a female, it will eat a final blood meal and then lay its eggs before dying. A single female tick can lay thousands of eggs at once.

The individual stages of a tick’s life cycles do not adhere to strict time lines, as the environment plays a large role in how long the ticks can go before ingesting each blood meal between molts. In general, however, the nymph and egg stages are in the spring, the larva stage is in the summer, and the adult stage is in the fall and winter.

Did you know? Ticks can live for several months depending on the environmental conditions they face; they perish in drier conditions and thrive in humid conditions. As long as they do not face extreme cold or dry conditions, ticks can live for several months without eating at all.